“Backyard” can have lots of different meanings. Given the relatively “inclement” weather we’re experiencing in So Cal (we’ve already surpassed our average annual rainfall!), in this case “backyard” is a euphemism for Los Angeles in general — i.e., having fun locally by enjoying a couple of new adventures.
The first was attending the Travel & Adventure Show at the LA Convention Center. This is a two-day affair with seminars and lots of exhibitors, both international and domestic. I invited a friend to go with me and pre-registered online. Easy.
The biggest debate was where should we have lunch? Before or after the show? Downtown LA (DTLA) has endless options and there were lots of cultural pockets en route from our Beverly Hills meeting place. We remarkably ruled out Langer’s (DTLA-adjacent with simply THE BEST pastrami sandwich) and kept on with “how about (insert type of food)???” We also didn’t want to park multiple times. What to do …?
During the drive while my friend Sandra was on a business call, I was observing restaurant signs and got a craving for Korean BBQ. I pulled over to search Google for nearby places and was elated to discover we were just 3 minutes from Park’s BBQ, arguably the best in all of LA. I say “arguably” because it’s all in the palate of the beholder. But this is a place I’ve long wanted to try.
Parks is just north of Olympic Boulevard on S. Vermont in the heart of Koreatown. The area traffic is always heavy but the restaurant is well marked. There is a free-of-charge valet (tips welcome) so that made it easy. It was before noon and the place was already bustling. And you know what is commonly said about judging an ethic-food place? Well, let’s just say we were the only non-Asians dining there.
Ever since the hubby’s and my 2013 trip to Seoul, I have loved Korean culture and food. The problem is there’s top choices of sushi and Thai food in our ‘hood, but almost no Korean. My efforts haven’t been exactly stellar to seek out different places. Regardless, back to the meal at hand …
We ordered two a la carte proteins to be grilled at the table: marinated chicken and paper-thin beef, prepared with onions and seasoning. They were served with a small bowl of rice and lots of different condiments and small sides. The hardest part was waiting for the server to give us the go to eat! Diners are not supposed to do the cooking but rather wait until the meats are done. We impatiently waited for our server (who supervised the grill) to return.
The verdict? Delicious. Not inexpensive. Good quality. Lots of flavors to try. And if you’re into spicy, you’re definitely in the right place. I now will book a return visit with my Foodies group (executive women gathering to try different restaurants along with socializing) and I’m looking forward to that.
As for the show, if you’ve been to one convention … The best takeaway for me was collecting guides to study for the upcoming trip to SE Asia (Taiwan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Kuala Lumpur). For the most part,the show’s exhibitors were largely promoting group tour travel and cruises. For my friend Sandra, it was the exhibit from Billings, MT, with lots of suggestions on doing a road trip encompassing Yellowstone Park. Particularly good info there.
This was a fun and somewhat spur-of-the-moment outing in our city — a place so vast that these types of experiences are virtually endless — and right in your own backyard.